William Ernest Henley

(1849 - 1902 / Gloucester / England)

A Love By The Sea - Poem by William Ernest Henley

Out of the starless night that covers me,
(O tribulation of the wind that rolls!)
Black as the cloud of some tremendous spell,
The susurration of the sighing sea
Sounds like the sobbing whisper of two souls
That tremble in a passion of farewell.

To the desires that trebled life in me,
(O melancholy of the wind that rolls!)
The dreams that seemed the future to foretell,
The hopes that mounted herward like the sea,
To all the sweet things sent on happy souls,
I cannot choose but bid a mute farewell.

And to the girl who was so much to me
(O lamentation of this wind that rolls!)
Since I may not the life of her compel,
Out of the night, beside the sounding sea,
Full of the love that might have blent our souls,
A sad, a last, a long, supreme farewell.


Comments about A Love By The Sea by William Ernest Henley

  • Gold Star - 17,401 Points Kim Barney (5/27/2015 8:03:00 PM)

    Amen to everything John Richter said below. Nobody could have summarized this poem any better than that. (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Rookie - 72 Points Charlotte Gunther (5/27/2015 12:43:00 PM)

    the sounds in this poem are soulful - the language elegant - the ache archetypal. (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 3,852 Points John Richter (5/27/2015 11:37:00 AM)

    I believe these are meant as dying words - of a man at sea facing a storm that will be sure to kill him. I agree it's beautifully written, but wouldn't quite call it a 'recipe for life.' He is about to die. He is lamenting over his life, the desires that have always driven him. He bids a 'mute farewell' to all people and things in his life, as he will die without them knowing it, or possibly without remembering him. How awesome is that realization? Most of the people in our lives are nothing but memories, our future death will mean nothing to them, even if they do remember our name. And his dying breath is saved for his one and only love, whom he was never able to capture as a lover.... Awesome. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 6,759 Points Savita Tyagi (5/27/2015 8:55:00 AM)

    Lovely poem. Creativity at best. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 148 Points Kebe Iwara (5/27/2015 8:08:00 AM)

    evocative. please read mine; 'love is spherical' (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,335 Points Juwon Daniel (5/27/2015 5:15:00 AM)

    Its a touching one though, it like a recipe to life. Good one (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 16,223 Points Edward Kofi Louis (5/27/2015 4:43:00 AM)

    To the desires! Nice work. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 30,096 Points Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (7/5/2014 10:28:00 PM)

    Really sad but beautiful creativity. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Ireca Sims (8/18/2012 10:41:00 PM)

    Such a sad poem, but great expression. (Report) Reply

Read all 9 comments »



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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010



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